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Never a dull moment

posted Jun 12, 2013, 6:57 PM by Melissa Burke
So we had 2 great days in the NICU Mon/Tues, so we should have anticipated we were due for some excitement today. We arrived this morning to find Peter looking pretty pale and with a slight fever.  His oxygen saturation levels were significantly lower than they had been on Monday.  He just didn't look like the same boy we had seen the last few days.  The doctors ordered a chest x-ray, and sure enough, he has something called pneumonitis which is basically inflammed lung tissue and the precursor to pneumonia.  There is a strong hypothesis that the cause was from him refluxing some of the milk he was getting through the feeding tube. Since he is still learning how to protect his airway, some of it got into his lungs during these episodes.
The good news is that they were quick to act and we are now on an antibiotic course to treat pneumonia which hopefully should turn around in the next few days.  The bad news is they decided to take a break from the milk feedings and they put the IV back in.  They also had to put him on an oxygen cannula to get his O2 sats a bit higher while he fights this thing (so we have gone the opposite direction on the tubes/wires which is no fun).  We have to pull the plug on attempting to feed from mom for the short-term but perhaps this will give him some time to grow stronger and really be able to properly protect his airway before we start again.  The plan is to re-start milk feeds in a day or so but they will now bypass his stomach and send it down to the start of the intestine on a constant flow to prevent the reflux from happening.
So, all in all, a little bit of a scary day but we are really happy that we seem to understand the cause and have already started to treat it.  I was able to do a ton of kangaroo time with him this afternoon and he seemed markedly better by the time we left - better color, fever down, generally better mood.  We are praying for only positive things tomorrow...
Peter not feeling so hot this morning